Quality Assessment of Websites Providing Information on Human Papillomavirus Vaccines in Thailand

Document Type: Research Articles

Authors

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand.

Abstract

Objectives: To assess the quality of websites that provide information about human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination using the criteria laid out by the World Health Organization Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety. Methods: This study assessed the quality of 154 Thai-language websites accessible in November 2018 via the three most popular search engines. Differences in scores were reported as mean difference (MD) and 95% confidence interval (CI). Results: With regard to credibility, all of the websites examined indicated their mission but, in most cases (91.6%), lacked transparency with regard to sponsorship. In terms of content, almost all of the websites (97.4%) met our writing/editing and content accuracy standards but did not provide complete information regarding the benefits of vaccination or adverse events associated with it. None of the websites contained information regarding their editorial/review process. All of the websites were accessible and were designed to be adaptable to mobile device screens. News and personal websites had lower credit scores than those of academic institutions (MD -0.63, 95% CI -1.05 to -0.20; MD -0.71, 95% CI -1.16 to -0.25, respectively). Conclusion: Most of the websites met standards in terms of writing/editing and content accuracy. However, fundamental information regarding the benefits and adverse events associated with HPV vaccination were infrequently reported, the editorial process and transparency issues were rarely addressed.

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